Friday, February 27, 2009

Frisky Feline finds a home

TODAY IS THE DAY. After over 1 year at the shelter, I am going home.
Hi! This is Tigger Too, again. I am writing earlier than normal. because I am gong home. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the care I received at the shelter. I have found my FOREVER HOME with someone who is willing to take all the time I need with me. I have talked to Toots and we cried together, but she understands just how important this day is. I was wondering if I can COUNT ON YOU to pay special attention to her and help explain what is going on and why I am not with her any longer.
I am just so happy the gang on Woodie's Wing threw me a going home party last night. So if the room was a mess this morning; sorry, but we had a great time.

In my new home I know I will learn many things. Just having someone tell me they love me and to spend time with me. Thanks again to staff andvolunteers and I almost forgot. Thanks for my shot I got today OUCH.
To my sister I say:
Dear Toots
Forever we are bonded, together or far apart.
may the love we feel for each other stay always in our hearts.
The tears of joy I feel today I am sure someday will come your way.
until the day we meet again may love surround you my sister and best friend.
love always your sister,
Tigger Too

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Beautiful labs need a home together

A friend of mine ask me to pass along this plea to try and find these two beautiful Labradors homes. They are so bonded, they must go together. Read their story below. The contact email is also below so if you know of anyone who could give these girls a home together, please pass this along.

The story:

As many of you know, we are moving in just 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I have still not been able to find a good home for Cookie and Coco. We're not able to take our beloved doggies with us and I've been desperately trying to find a home for both of them together. They were raised together and pine without each other. The Lab Rescue people have already said that they would probably separate them, so this is my last resort. Recently I tried to take Coco out in my car alone and she TOTALLY refused to even get into the car without Cookie!!!! She absolutely pulled back on her haunches until Cookie was by her side. Both doggies are in great health, have been spayed and have ID chips implanted under the skin. Cookie turned 3 December 10th and Coco will be 3 April 1st. Cookie is my mellow-yellow, and just loves her tummy rubbed. Coco is adorably funny and lives for her ball. She also loves the water. Cookie loves lots of attention. Both doggies are loyal and love to walk. They have been raised with my 3 kids running around all over the place, and have survived Sammy's constant hugging and love of 'dress-up', so they are fantastic family dogs. This is by far one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, but under the circumstances I have no choice. Please, please forward these pics to all you know and help me find a great home for these fabulous doggies. They are just adorable and it's heartbreaking to let them go. In a perfect world, I hope that we could find someone local so that we can still keep in touch and visit them. I pray that someone somewhere can help us keep Cookie and Coco together, and love them just as much as we do. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Contact: Katherine at:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frisky Felines of Fame: Another week gone by

Hi! It's Toots and Tigger Too again.
This week we would like to highlight two wonderful mature cats.
Maxie is 15 years young and really needs a forever home. Shelter life can be a challenge for a younger cat, but for an older cat it can be very trying. Waking up early, lots of folks cleaning, feeding and making noise. It is very hard to sleep late. Being with a family all your life and then, in your senior years, they are gone.
Maxie is front declawed and has long hair that is grey and butterscotch. She is a little bigger than most cats, but that is ok, there is just more to love. Please please consider adopting Maxie -mature cats need love to.
Here is a special note from Snowball who is also looking for a forever home. He wrote his own description.
My name is Snowball I am 11 years young . I have been in a foster home for a month and now I am back, ready to be adopted. My foster mom said she loved me because I am easy going and handsome and very young at heart.
I play all the time and I get along well with other cats. I am very confident and cool looking with my one eye and my slim body. She called me little panther. I love sitting on your lap and I hug as well. My other secret is that I give love bites. Apparently it tickles you when I do it.
I fell in the pool twice and came out on my own. My foster mom had to chase me all around the house to get me dry. It was fun. I miss the step some times because I cannot see on one side. I liked it when she played with me and gave me the little mice. They are my favorite. She might find some behind the washing machine one day. Oops. I love wet food but I would eat dry too!
I also discovered that I like ham. I had never tried ham before. Can you believe that? Do you want to take me home and see what else I like? Please come by and ask to meet Snowball.
This week's gossip:
Whiskers and Buddy are having a cookout this weekend. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Once again, K.C and his band will be playing. They are even going to have karaoke. Lou Lou is bringing his grill. I can smell the tuna now. I was told he is an excellent cook. Smokey Bear will be telling us something very important, so please, check back next week.
Toots and Tigger Too
P.S. We are still waiting for you.

Beagle mix needs a home

Meet Lucy V. She is available for adoption through Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue.
She is a 3 year old beagle mix. She is spayed, housebroken, good with other dogs and children and is highly active.
Please visit to adopt or foster her or one of the other beagles available for adoption.
certified asthma alert beagle
P.S. Check out my page on this site. I already have a wonderful home but have lots of friends who are still looking for theirs.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cat rescue needs computers

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven is asking for donations of used computer hardware and LCD monitors. This is a good opportunity for a corporation, or individual, to recycle equipment while receiving a tax credit by donating to help out the kitties.
We would be happy to pick up and wipe the data on any donated machines to Department of Defense standards. We would like any equipment beginning with a Pentium 4 level processor or higher and any size LCD monitor.
We will provide a thank you letter and tax receipt. Depending on your tax situation, individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer and business donors can deduct the un-depreciated value of the computer.
If you have equipment to donate or if your company has a recycling program please contact us at 941-473-5406. We at Puffy Paws thank you and the kitties thank you in advance for your support.

Mutt Mutterings: I lost my girl

Hi y'all! I'm back with another report. I just can't seem to catch a break here and find a new home, but I did get looked at several times last week by interested people. They just decided on other dogs. That is a bummer because my sweetheart, Scarlett found her forever home complete with a teenager. Can you get any luckier than that.
That annoying Steeler also found a home along with Krystal. They left together, along with two big German Shepherds. It was a good thing Steeler got adopted because he barked non-stop so a dog had a hard time getting any rest around here.
Krystal also really needed a home and her buddy, Boomer got adopted so she would have been a little lonely. Now she has 4 males to be in charge of. She is one lucky dog. 4 males, 2 acres, a teenage girl to lavish attention on her. Wow, how could you ask for anything more?
It has been a little slow around here. These people are still insisting on giving me a bath once a week for my skin and I can tell you the only good part is, after while they are surrounding me with towels and rubbing me dry. I always want to play with the towel and feel quite frisky then.
I wonder if more people will look at me when my hair grows all the way back in? That is the only reason I can think of that people wouldn't like me. Oh well, the people here like me and I guess that is the important thing.
Well, this is gonna be a short report since there is just not much going on. I heard it is much busier on Pod 1, but I live in Pod 2, and we don't have any puppies so it is pretty quiet here.
You guys take care and maybe I will have more to report on next week. Or, maybe not. Maybe I will find a home. Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya? I need some luck.


17th Street Dog Park photos

Here are some photos taken last weekend at the
17th Street dog park. The husky in the first photo is not identified but the other three are Trooper, a brindle pit mix and two Dobermans, Jake and Lexi. Trooper, Jake and Lexie are all shelter dogs, rescued from the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
The second photo is a frisbee dog, also not identified, but a great action shot. Thanks to Iris Eastman for the photos.

Labrador available for adoption

Gunner here is a 10 month old, black male with energy to spare, who would love to have a yard in which to run and play.
I am housebroken, I have child history, I love people and would do best in a home without cats....they are fun to chase. I would prefer to be close to you rather than alone and I am not real fond of my crate but I am crate trained.
My favorite thing to play with are little squeaky toys! I get along with other dogs and car rides are fun. I also like water in the pool or at the beach.....come visit and lets take a walk, play catch or just sit and cuddle.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Gunner or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference. (if applicable)

Special kitten in Englewood

If you are looking for that purr...fect kitty, then little baby Shoe is the kitty for you.
He is smart as a button and quick as a whip.
If you want to meet him and all the kitties up for adoption come out to one of our open houses which are held every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.
You can also check out our kitties online at or call 941-473-5406 for more information.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Save the date for the 10th Annual Poker Run

Sarasota Harley Owners Group will sponsor their 10th Annual St. Patty’s Day Poker Run to benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc., , Sunday, March 15, 2009.
Registration will be from 11:00 a.m. until 12 noon at The Humane Society of Sarasota County, Inc. located at 2331 15th St. in Sarasota, FL. (941-955-4131). Enter 15th St. from Lime Ave. See their website for directions. Take a tour of the Humane Society facility during registration. Rain or Shine!
$10 per hand or 3 hands for $20.00.
Buy as many poker hands as you like, all money benefits the animals at this nonprofit charity. There will be a cash prize for the best and worst hand! 50/50 drawing & door-prizes etc.! Adoptable pets will be the guests of honor!
All poker run stops are Irish Pubs / Restaurants. First bike out is at 11:30 noon, last bike out at 12 noon from registration. All bikes in by 3:30 pm at the final stop and party at Rasher Tierney’s Irish Pub in Bradenton at 5106 14th St. W. (Tamiami Trail) on the west side of Rte. 41 between S.R 70 & Cortez. .
For more information call 941-749-1778 or visit and click on HOG Chapter.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi, my name is Sonny.
My sister and I had to come into rescue because our owner is going through a rough time. I am a handsome yellow boy that loves to be with people.
I would love to come to your home and show you how great a companion I can be.
I like to be with you while you work at the desk, I like to take walks and play ball, and I get along well with other dogs.
You will need to speak with my foster Mom about cats....I am not sure.
My foster family tells me I am a great guy and that one day I will find my "furever" family. Please come visit. Who knows? We may be a perfect match.
If you are interested in meeting Sonny or adopting or one of our other labs, please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Frisky Felines of Fame: The weekend bash

Hi! It's Toots and Tigger Too again.
Toots has moved up into a large room with a view which is very nice. We sure would be happy if
you would stop by and see us. This weekend was Mandy's Day and we had a great time. Hopefully, we raised lots money for our senior animals with the bake sale.
We would like to welcome our newest shelter guests: Anemone, Istle, Kieseo, and Meeko.
This week we would like to highlight Prynn.
Prynn is short for Princess. This delightful 10 year old is here because her owner moved and was no longer able to keep her. They found her as a stray about five years ago. She has lived with cats and is okay with being around other cats. She is a very loving cat and loves to be petted and held.
Prynn is a talker and would be great company for you. Did you know most Siamese cats are talkers? She likes thing easy going - no fast lane for this girl.
Her previous owner feels she would be a great companion for an older person.
Prynn is looking forward to being a part of a family again. She just needs for you to feel the same way! This delightful senior's adoption fee is sponsored by Jessie's Fund!
Here is what you all wait for every week: the latest gossip.
Valentine's Day night was filled with dancing and love was in the air. Ben and Cinder were quite the pair, dancing the waltz just like on television.
Houdini even delighted us some new magic tricks he had up his paws.
The highlight of the evening was Casanova singing solo while K.C and his band played. He dedicated the song to Jennifer and gave her a red mouse for Valentine's Day.
Mr Mufasa had several poems he shared with us. It was very touching, especially with his wonderful accent.
As much as we are well taken care of at the shelter, each and every one of us would sure like a forever home. Some of us will even be staying at Petsmart until the end of the month in hopes we can find a new home there.
Please stop by and take a new loving family member home today or sponsor an adoption fee.
We will be waiting on you. We are located at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota or you can use the phone thingy and call 955-4131 with any questions.
Until next week,
Toots and Tigger Too

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kennel stress and barrier aggression

One of the things I have learned since becoming involved in animal welfare is there are many people involved and most are not educated on animal behavior. If a dog is not calmly sitting in a kennel, wagging their tail, they believe the animal is not adoptable and should be euthanized. How wrong these people are.
Many shelters today include behavior assessments and have protocols for dogs due to several issues these animals may have upon entering a kennel.
The most serious of these issues is kennel stress. Any dog can become a victim of kennel stress. Some become depressed and lose weight while others become hyperactive and start exhibiting extreme behaviors. Kennel stress can produce obsessive-compulsive behaviors including circling and whirling and bouncing repetitively off kennel walls. They retain a glazed look in their eyes and can pace back and forth, back and forth for hours. In most cases, unless a home can be found quickly, they never recover. They may cease the behavior while in human company, but then begin again the moment they are left alone.
Barrier aggression on the other hand, is something totally different and very much controllable. You must look at a shelter from a dog's point of view. Their life as they know it has ceased to exist. They are then thrust in a kennel, which sometimes has little room, are surrounded by other barking dogs and smells which they cannot see or identify. This is their new home. They do not understand the many feet walking by, or what will happen to them next. Is this someone they know? Is this someone who will hurt them? Are these feet going to take their food or bed away?
Shelter dogs who exhibit this behavior do not behave this way with humans they know. If they see you with frequency, whether you are responsible for feeding, walking, medicating or socializing with them, they will wag their tails because their comfort level is good.
On the other hand, if you are a virtual stranger to them, the barking, growling and sometimes charging the door can occur.
This behavior can be modified simply and quickly by having humans who are not familiar with the dog walking by their kennel and throwing in a high quality treat. Don't stop, don't stare, don't speak but simply walk by and toss the treat in the kennel.
The dog will eventually associate high quality food treats with people passing by. In the dog's view, the threat will be diminished and the behavior will subside.
It sure beats euthanizing a dog for protecting their home.

Fabulous American Bulldog mix for adoption

Boomer is my name and playing is my game. I am a big boy and they say I have some Chinese Sharpei in me. I don't know where, because I look just like all the pictures I see of American Bulldogs.
My friend says I would make a great dog for someone who is active. I love to run and play, I love most other dogs, but most of all, I love humans I come in contact with. I can be a little scared while I am in my kennel. You see, that is my home and I have to protect it so I may bark at you when you come to see me, but ask one of the staff or volunteers to take me out and you will see what a charmer I am.
Several people think I have no focus, I am just a big goofball, but....I am smart and simply still have lots of puppy left in me. I am taking some obedience training now to learn to behave on a leash and not to jump. I learned sit very quickly and will take treats very gently out of your hand.
I am white with brown but have these interesting dark circles around my eyes. It looks like someone put eyeshadow on me. I heard about this competition called Irondog, which features American Bulldogs doing all sorts of fun jobs like sprinting and pulling carts loaded with blocks and running 3 miles and stuff like that. I bet if I gained some weight I could compete in something like that. I wonder if they take mixed dogs. You know, I have that Chinese thing hanging over my head.
Anyway, if you want a fun dog who really, really, really wants a home, please come see me at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota or call 955-4131. I would love to meet you and take a walk. Then you could see what a great dog I am.

Mutt Mutterings: My girl

Hi y'all. Buzz here.
The news of the week is My Girl. Lucky, lucky me. Some of my biggest fans decided I needed a play buddy now that I was off of leash walk only. They tried to pick the best girl for me and I do believe they succeeded.
She is pretty, not very big at all and tough enough to put me in my place if I become too amorous. He name, drum roll please, is Scarlett. Miss Scarlett to most and she is a proper southern lady with a hint of rebel. (That is her picture under mine)She had another buddy she came to the shelter with who was about my size. His name was Rhett but he got adopted quickly and Scarlett had to stay behind.
I was a little worried yesterday when a family took her out to meet her, but they didn't take her. I am just as glad because she just became my buddy a couple of days ago.
I do want her to find a home, but I want a home, too! Do you think we could find a person who would take us both? Wouldn't that be grand? A Florida Brown Dog and a pitbull mix would make the perfect family companions. I think they would anyway.
Not too much other gossip going on. Snickers, who has been here a while lost another play buddy when Gumbo got adopted. Then Steeler, who played with Cherry, who was the only one who put up with his shenanigans, lost her since she went home with her new family yesterday. Her new buddy is named Hank and she was pretty happy to be leaving, let me tell you.
The gorgeous girl who lived across the way in the 2nd Row Club, Marley, went home with 3 boys and she was wagging her tail and so happy. She was a black and tan coonhound and was wiggling all over the place.
Bella, who is very quiet and is also a pretty girl is going home on Monday. She didn't say too much last night but is pretty happy about the changes in her living space. She is going to love living in a home and not a yard. I haven't ever had that kind of home. I am hoping someone can see through my buzzed hair and skinny tail and take me to a real home. A home where I will be loved and cared for, not like the home I came from.
Well, that is my report for now. I really wish I could turn this over to someone else because a family wanted me, but I can stay here and write for as long as it takes. I just hope it doesn't take too long.
See ya next week on the flip side,
P.S. You can reach me at 955-4131 or 2331 15th Street in Sarasota. Stop by and have a chat. I will be looking forward to it.

Missing their owners

In the course of life, many things can happen which will then displace a pet. One of the most tragic of these is when an owner dies and there is no one to love or provide a home for the animal who has just lost his human.
Barry, an 11 year old black cat is one of those stories. Barry's owner was admitted to the hospital and never came home. He was adopted from the HSSC 10 years ago, so was returned to us when his Mom died.
He now lives in a kennel, with the best of care, but no Mom. He is lonely and stressed and has no idea what happened to his beloved companion. He hides under his bed and when you call his name, he meows pitifully and pops his head out to see who is calling him.
Barry has only lived in a single household with no children and no other pets. He was a prince and needs to remain one. The unfortunate thing is Barry is black and he is a senior.
But, no need to despair, senior adoption costs are covered by a special fund, "Jessie's Fund" and all you need to pay is his rabies tag. He is also very affectionate when you call his name but doesn't like closed in spaces.
If you would love to have a single, black cat to call your own and can give Barry the love and companionship he is so desperately missing, please call 955-4131 and ask about him. You can also drop by for a visit at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota to meet this wonderful senior.
He is relishing the extra attention he is receiving from all the volunteers, but would love to leave the shelter and go home again.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi! I am Mocha. Things happen and my family had to surrender me to LRROF. They are helping to find me a new and loving family.
I have lots of toys, a bed, crate and a huge stack of papers with all my history. The vet says I am in PERFECT health and that I am one of the most active 9 year olds ever seen. My foster home has 2 small dogs and one large one and we all are getting along well. I am enjoying my new friends but what I really want and need is a loving family that will take care of me forever and love me just as much as my original family. I miss them very much.
If you want a real sweet slice of chocolate come visit me..... lets walk and sit together and we may be a perfect couple.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting MOCHA or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference. (if applicable)

Special cats in Englewood

If you looking for that purr...fect kitty, then Puffy Paws Kitty Haven just might have the kitty for you.
They have big ones, small ones, fast ones, and lazy ones.
There is a kitty for everyone here at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven. If you want to see the kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven, our Open Houses are held every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.
You can also check us out at or call 941-473-5406 for more infromation.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frisky Felines of Fame: Valentine's Day is upon us

It's Toots and Tigger Too again. Since this is the week for couples. You know, it being Valentine's Day on Saturday and all we are going to feature a fabulous couple, but no gossip.
This week we would like to feature Lou Lou and Lola.
This team came in together because their owner was moving.
Lola is a mixed Maine Coon and Lou Lou is a domestic short hair who is about 20 pounds. He is on a diet but he is also a big, loving boy.
Lou Lou is a little shy around a lot of people but was very loving today as we talked with him. Lola sure is a talker, though. She just went on and on about how happy she would be if just that right person would take them home.
It doesn't hurt to add that with the 2 for one it there would only be 1 adoption fee. You can visit them both at the HSSC, 2331 15th Street in Sarasota or call 955-4131 for more information.
Just don't forget about us. We are also a couple and have been waiting patiently almost a year.
Until next week, when the gossip continues,
Toots and Tigger Too

ATTENTION: Change to location

“Big Hearts For Little Kitties" adoptathon location has been changed.
Puffy Paws Kitty Haven will hold a Valentine's Day adoptathon called, “Big Hearts For Little Kitties” on Saturday, February 14th from 1p.m. to 5 p.m.
Instead of the event being held at Big Lots in the Lemon Bay Shopping Center located at 1855 Englewood Road, as originally planned, Puffy Paws will be holding the adoptathon at the Haven itself located at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.
There will be lots of kitties to adopt. All proceeds will benefit Puffy Paws Kitty Haven. The adoption fee is $50 for kitties over 8 years old and $72 for under 8 years.
For more information, call 941-473-5406. Thank you for supporting us.

Labrador available for adoption

Hi. My name is Ralph, a playful guy, 1.5 years of age.
I love people and enjoy playing with other dogs. I have excellent house manners. My coat is thick, shiny and my eyes sparkle when it's time to snuggle. I'm bunking with LRROF now but sure would love to have my new family for Valentine's Day.
Come visit and lets see if we are a match!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Ralph or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Frisky Felines of Fame: Special announcement

Hi! It's Toots and Tigger Too
We have a special announcement. This Saturday, the 14th, Valentine's Day which is also Mandy Day, we have a wonderful special deal for you.
Come in and see us and take home a wonderful new family member.
All adoption fees will be $10 off on all fees. As always, 2 for 1 cat adoptions, gift bags for all adopters and a bake sale!
Did you know the Humane Society of Sarasota also has other animals: Syrian hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, and bunny rabbits.
See you Saturday. Would you be our valentine, PLEASE?

Labrador available for adoption

Eli here, I am a 10 month old black lab puppy with a curly coat. I have lived with small children, cats and dogs.
I have a lot of energy, but I am well-behaved. My family had to surrender me to LRROF because of issues.....all I know is that my life has changed. My foster mom says I am really a good boy for being so young. She can leave me alone and I don't chew anything except my toys. She says I love to retrieve and to cuddle. Now that I am here I feel secure but I would love to be your best buddy.
Come visit and lets play ball and take a walk....who knows we may be a perfect match!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Eli or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.

LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Animal cruelty is finally taken seriously

Leave it to Los Angeles to be the poster child for handling animal cruelty. They are a huge city with a huge problem, and they have begun addressing that problem.
I was happy to see this article in the Los Angeles Times. The program is just beginning, but they are already seeing results in more jail time and stiffer fines.
Cruelty is cruelty, whether it is beating a defenseless dog to death, or staging a cockfight or dogfight for your profit and the animal's death.
Thank God someone is finally taking notice.

Shelter turning away animals

Sonoma County, California has always been one of my favorite places to visit and now, they are also facing a crunch due to the economy.
The shelter there is having to reduce the number of animals they can take in because donations are down. They have also cut salaries and reduced staff.
You can read that story here.
Thank you Sarasota. Our shelters have not had to resort to such measures.

MSPCA is closing some doors

I was sad to see how hard the recession has affected other shelters. The MSPCA in Springfield, Massachusetts is closing it's adoption center due to financial losses.
The news article says animal lovers are scrambling to adopt and find homes for the shelter residents.
You can read the series of stories here. Then tell me again why we don't need spay/neuter programs.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dog training 101

When I first began really working with training a dog, it was in a shelter environment, working with dogs who had the attention span of a gnat. The behaviorist who began the actual classes to teach us how to teach the dogs has become a good friend and I learn something new from her each time I watch her work a dog, or work with her on a dog's behavior.
Our classes would last about 20 minutes but never longer and rest periods during that time, where the dog was just laying on the floor being petted and having a belly rub. After the 20 minute period, the dogs were taken to the play yards for fun time so everything ended on a happy note.
I can't even begin to list the animals who were worked with and became model dogs and found forever homes during this period.
From the you can see she was right on the money. According to their website, "Optimal training should last about five to ten minutes at a time. Any more than that will strain your dog’s attention span and counteract your efforts.
Another way that dogs are like children is that they have short attention spans! If you require him to train for longer than ten minutes, he is likely to become obstinate and disobedient. Also keep in mind that he’ll have to have a lot of practice in order to perfect the command."
As I watch people believe they are doing the best for their dogs, working them for 30 or 45 minutes at a time, over and over with no break, I wonder where the communication breakdown happened. Who taught them it was okay to work a dog that long with no break? Where is the fun in that for the dog?
If you are trying to teach your dog, please make sure you are doing it properly. If you have any doubt, please contact a professional trainer. Walking a dog and training a dog are two very different things. Please don't set your dog or any dog for that matter, up to fail.

The unlucky ones

In my daily phone call to my mother this morning, we were discussing the spay/neuter legislation I wrote about earlier. We have opposite opinions on mandatory spay neuter and that is okay. She is almost 80 and pretty independent. She thinks people should just do the responsible thing and we shouldn't have to have another law to force people to spay/neuter their animal.
I say, to everyone out there who is against mandatory spay/neuter, visit a shelter during a euthanasia if you can find one who will let you observe. Watch newborn kittens or puppies with no mother or foster family to care for them be destroyed, one after the other.
Visit your local animal control, which your tax dollars supports by the way, and see how many dogs are on death row. Their 3 days or 5 days is up on the day you visit and they won't make it out alive.
Watch a dog die because a perfect home simply could not be found for him. He wasn't the right color, or size, or temperment to suit the adopters coming through the facility during a certain week and there was no room available.
Visit your local landfill, where dead animals are heaped in piles from animal control agencies, left to rot away because we have so many. You may just change your mind.
If you count simply the animals who cannot find a home, adoptable animals, we are still destroying close to 8 million animals a year in this country. Not 8, not 80, not 800, not even 8,000 but 8,000,000.
Until more people are willing to help control pet populations, until more money can be found to fight illiteratacy about spaying and neutering and more animals can be placed in permanent, loving homes, these 8 million are the unlucky ones.

What's wrong with this picture?

Since this morning I seem to be on my soapbox about spay/neuter and breed specific legislation, puppy mills are also going to take a hit.
I have spoken to many, many people in the last several weeks who are appalled at the puppy mill situation, but...they did buy a dog from a pet store and the dog was fine.
Wait a minute. How can you be appalled and then buy a dog from a pet store? Every puppy adopted from a pet store is a puppy mill puppy. Their moms and dads are raised and bred in deplorable conditions, over and over again until they are used up. Then are destroyed because they are not worth money anymore. They just busted another one in North Carolina with almost 300 Lhasa Apsos, Shih-Tzus and Chihuahuas, who were suffering from serious medical ailments and housed in filthy conditions. Many of the dogs were emaciated, had untreated lacerations, severely matted fur and serious skin and eye infections.
If you are in doubt, check out the HSUS link about puppy mills and see how you can help.
The daily headlines all over the country are layoffs and the bad economy. Foreclosures and debt. If the people in this country are suffering in this way, why are all these puppy mills still in business? How can they afford to pay for these puppies?
Please, if you are able to care for an animal, opt to adopt, don't buy a puppy. If people would stop, puppy mills would close down.

Mutt Mutterings: the taste of freedom

Hi y'all. Buzz here.
Guess what, guess what? Can you guess what I am going to write about today? I have finished with my heartworm treatment and am free. I get to run and play in the yards without being on a leash. Do you know how great that makes me feel? Wonderful, happy, and very contented. Despite the fact I still don't have a home, I am a pretty happy boy.
I got another special bath this week. The staff had to scrub all the scabs off my back so my skin and hair could continue healing. I am not fond of baths, but having two women pay attention to me and scrub me all over was pretty nice, even if one was making faces. Then they turned on something called a dryer, which I wasn't too sure about, since the weather was cold and I have no hair on my rump. It is coming back in though and I will be quite handsome when it does.
Some new residents from Orlando came in last week. They are all pretty skinny and look like they could use some groceries, but one has already found a home. Her name was Cassey. The one they put on my row is so loud. His name is Steeler and he is part greyhound. He is very skinny, which I understand is part of his breed, but he is a young dog and will probably do pretty well in a new home.
The latest is the matchup of Boomer, an American Bulldog mix and Krystal, a Florida brown dog like me. Krystal never had a play buddy before, but she seems to really like Boomer. I think it is because she can boss him around. A couple of people looked at Krystal this week, but never came back to adopt her.
I think right now the dog with the worst luck is Gumbo. He is only 8 months old, still a pup, and he has been on hold for about a week. This means about 6 people were going to adopt him and they all fell through. He is a big, young goofball and I have no idea why people would put him on hold and then not show back up. He is a nice looking dog, big though, but will still probably find a home before I will.
I just don't understand it. I am a nice, mature dog. Medium sized and pretty well behaved. I don't know many tricks yet. I learned sit a couple of days ago. But I am smart, smart, smart and shouldn't have any problem picking up the training. I also don't expect too much. You see, when you come from circumstances like the ones I came from, you learn not to expect too much.
Of course, it is nice having a Kuranda bed. It is fabulous getting fed twice a day. I am never hungry now. My skin isn't so itchy and I don't have fleas or those fatty tumor things they took off my rump. I get lots of attention, but nothing would beat a real home with humans who loved me.
Well, freedom has a price. I am tired now from running and playing and sneaking out to the computer so I can send this to my friend. She tells me all the time if she didn't have two other dogs and could afford me, she would take me home. I am sure her dogs are very lucky. I have a feeling some of that luck will rub off on me and I will find a home soon.
Until then,
See ya later alligator, after while, crocodile,

Labrador available for adoption

Hi, Black Jack here. I am a beautiful 4 1/2 year old calm, and mellow boy with a shiny black coat. My owners had to surrender me when they moved to an apartment that would not take dogs.

I have lived with children, dogs and cats. I love to play fetch and I love to be with people. I miss my family but LRROF has made me feel good and they are helping me find a new home.

Please come visit and let's play catch, take a walk and it could be our lucky day...we both might find a new forever friend.

If you are interested in meeting or adopting BlackJack or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.

LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable)

Valentine's Day Adoptathon

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven is having a Valentine's Day Adoptathon, “Big Hearts For Small Kitties” on Saturday, February 14th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Big Lots in the Lemon Bay Shopping Center located at 1855 Englewood Road.
There will be lots of kitties to adopt.
All proceeds will benefit Puffy Paws Kitty Haven. The adoption fee is $50 for kitties over 8 years old and $72 for kitties under 8 years old .For more information, call 941-473-5406 or visit

Hiding breed specific legislation

For anyone who follows this blog with any regularity, you know my stance on backyard breeders. These are people who buy purebred dogs and then breed them to make money. This is not done on a large scale, but simply as people who are trying to supplement their income a little because, "aren't the puppies so cute" and "we just love this breed of dog." This is one of the biggest fallacies going today.
Many of these animals are so overbred, they have health and emotional problems that will never be fixed and end up being a statistic for euthanasia numbers. I am not against registered breeders, who love the specific breed and show their dogs. If you buy an animal from a breeder who is reputable, you are going to pay a lot of money for the animal. If you buy from a backyard breeder, you are going to get what you pay for, which is normally a sub-standard bred dog, from someone who doesn't have a clue what they are doing.
Florida has no law concerning these backyard breeders, so when a bill was introduced in the legislature for mandatory spay neuter, most of us in the animal welfare community cheered.
Then came the truth in the bill. Hiding in there was some wording for breed specific legislation. Specifically, making it allowable for municipalities to ban specific breeds in their area.
They tried last year to ban pit bulls from the state and the bill died because of the people of Florida. This was a bad bill.
Although I believe backyard breeding should be regulated, I don't believe dogs of any breed should be banned. As long as our legislators, who believe we, as a voting public are idiots, I will continue to write letters and more importantly, vote against legislators who try and do this.
Please write your legislator today. Don't let this bill pass. If our legislators are truly concerned about the overpopulation of animals in our state, they will come up with a comprehensive, fair bill which doesn't try to hide BSL behind a worthy cause.

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Bart. He is a playful male kitty who loves a nice warm bed, yummy fishy food and NASCAR.
He needs a family to love.
You can see him and all the other kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven Open House, every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. located at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood. You can also check everyone out here or call 941-473-5406.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Frisky Felines of Fame: Be our Valentine?

Hi, It's Toots and Tigger Too again.
This week we have decided to feature a kitty cat by the name of Jack. Jack is a 7 year old russian blue MIX who is a boy but has been neutered. He is absolutely handsome. He loves affection, but is a little shy.
He came in with his best friend, Louie, who found a home. With love in the air this Valentines Day, could you find room in your heart to love this wonderful cat? Like the Russian Blue, Jack has a short, dense coat. Would you like to know more about the Russian Blue cat? Please check out Here at We cats do our research, too.
And here is the latest gossip from deep within the cat rooms:
Sorbet's party went very well last week, So well she was adopted the next day. Shade is still waiting for the special person to come his way. The Jungle Room cats will be hosting a card game on Friday night. It should be lots of fun. We will let you know how it turned out and who won the jackpot.
We woul also like to offer a warm welcome to the newest members of our shelter. Prynn, Mokey, Bear, and Sidney.
With a chill in the air, we are glad we have cat hair and a warm place to lay our heads. Could you please stop in and visit. We would love to have our own warm home for the next cold spell that passes through. If you weren't looking for us, we might have the special new family member just waiting for you.

Toots and Tigger Too

Cossimo's for a cause

On Tuesday, February 24th, from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Cossimo's is hosting a charity dinner to benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
Go ahead, order an appetizer, salad, entre, dessert or even a cocktail, or choose from Cossimo's affordable, family style dining menus. The more you order, the larger the donation.
Cossimo's Brick Oven will donate 10 % of your total check before taxes and gratuities to this very worthy organization.
Reservations are recommended so call 941-363-0211 to make your contribution count.
Cossimo's Brick Oven is located inside Westfield Southgate, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mutt Mutterings: counting the days

Hi y'all. Buzz here.
Another week has flown by and I am counting the days. You see, I came in positive for heartworms, among other things, so I was treated and have been on leash walk only for a long time. Friday is my day. I can run and play off leash on Friday and I can't wait.
My age is listed as 7 years old, which the shelter considers a senior, but I feel so good since I came here, I am just like a young pup. You should come visit me and see what I am talking about.
We got some new dogs in the kennels but they were gone so quickly I didn't even get to meet them. 6 of them were puppies, which always find homes quickly, but several of them were under a year, and they go almost as quickly.
I am still here as is Sweetie Pie, who is 12 and Champ, who is 8. Champ is really popular and already has two holds on him. Lou the beagle, is 9.
Sparkles is still here of course. I am surrounded by beagle baying all the time. I just sit calmly and quietly in my kennel and wait because I know someone will come and take me for a walk. Everyone here keeps complementing me on how nice I look. I think they can see beyond the buzz cut I have right now and know I am going to make someone a wonderful pet.
I wish I had some really juicy gossip for you, but things are rolling along the same as always. Dogs come in, dogs go out, and some of us are still here.
Our day is coming. I can just sense it. You know dogs have a great sense about them.? Yeah, I kinda figured you knew that.
Well, not much more to say. I will try and dig up some other stuff before the week is out and report back to you.
Until then, I remain your faithful Florida Brown Dog,


Monday, February 2, 2009

When the honeymoon is over

I have written on this subject before, but it never hurts to go back over it again.
The first month to 6 weeks after bringing a new pet into your home can be classified as the honeymoon period.
Everything is wonderful. You love your new pet dearly. You can't imagine life without them. I have heard it all.
Then...the new pet figures out you love them. Most times if problems arise, they happen at the end of the honeymoon.
When a new animal enters your home, time is important. You would probably be surprised at the number of animals which are returned to shelters because, "it is just not working out."
What is not working out? Are they not exactly what you thought you were getting? This generally happens within the first week or two after taking your new pet home.
Please remember, just as you are getting to know your new pet, they are also having to learn their new owners. Sometimes, you get lucky. Your new pet acts exactly like you want which probably means they came from a household which had the same rules. Ahhh! Bliss.
Most times this doesn't happen. They go to the front door to go potty. You want them to go to the back. They want to sleep on the couch. You want them to sleep in the new bed you just bought them. The list goes on and on.
This adjustment period is the most important time in any pet's future. What was right in their old home is now wrong. They sometimes must make rapid and massive adjustments to how they act, just to fit in.
Please remember this adjustment period. They really don't want to be returned to the shelter to find another home. They just want to please you and are trying to figure out how. They are not getting you back, being vengeful, trying to make you feel guilty or any of the other human traits we assign to them.
They are just homeless pets, looking for a forever spot.

Upsetting the balance

Everyone has some sense of balance in their lives. Some people are more balanced than others but some people have their lives so balanced, one thing out of place will throw off their whole schedule for the day.
I fall somewhere in the middle. In some things I stay balanced and on others I am all over the board.
Some things which throw me off balance and really shouldn't.
1. Planning an outside work day and waking up to rain. Wasn't there an old song called, "Rainy Days and Mondays"? That started my day. Now I get to vaccum dog hair and clean dog hair off furniture. I also get to try and get Gypsy in the shower to give her a medicated bath, which she needs every other week or so.
2. Meeting people who work with animals and are scared of them. Why on earth would you take a job being around animals all day and have a fear of them. That one really gets me going.
3. Meeting people who expect their animals to be perfect, all the time, day in and day out. (This follows right along with expecting perfection from their children). My suggestion to them is to buy a stuffed animal.
So on this rainy day which also happens to be a Monday, the balance has already tilted. Maybe I will go back to bed and try getting up on the other side.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Unsung heroes

Take a small sanctuary in Missouri, a humane society in Florida, a humane society in Georgia and a group of volunteers, in the air and on the ground and put them together and what do you get?
You get 6 rescued animals who have now found new homes instead of no life left.
Here is the story:
When the kennel manager of the HSSC retired, he moved to Missouri to be centrally located to his kids. He and his wife began a small sanctuary for animals. When his sanctuary became overburdened, he called for help.
The HSSC had some room but transporting animals from Missouri to Florida was going to take some coordination. The volunteers and staff went into action and contacted Pilots N Paws, which is a group of private pilots who fly animals all over the country where there is room for them.
The plan was started and the animals took off. The pilots hit bad weather in the panhandle and had to land in Georgia. What to do with the animals until the weather cleared? Bainbridge Humane Society was contacted and they agreed to shelter the animals.
Two days later, the 3 puppies from Missouri arrived with 3 more puppies from Bainbridge, whose shelter is overburdened with puppies.
This weekend all 6 of the puppies found homes in Sarasota. 6 more animals were saved from certain death due to a lot of hard work from a lot of dedicated people. These are the unsung heroes. To them I say, thank you.

Pitbull documentary

There is a new documentary coming in the spring titled, "Beyond the Myth." For everyone who loves the breed and wants to dispell all the nasty rumor and innuendo which always seems to surround them, please see this documentary.
Then, try and convince all the people you know who disparage the breed as killers and horrible animals and all those other adjectives, to go see it. Heck, you pay for them to go see it.
We, as animal lovers, must continue to strive every day to make sure people are presented with fair assessments of the animals we love. This documentary is a good start.
After you view the trailer for this, watch this youtube video of what one man is doing in Chicago with those who used to believe it was okay to fight dogs.

Labrador available for adoption

Jackson here.....sweet as chocolate! Yes, I am a chocolate lab and I am beginning to understand that people love me.
My first life was a bit tough, but I am with Lab Rescue now and am enjoying every minute. My foster family is very nice. We practice my leash walking and we play together. This ball toss game I learned is really fun. They throw the ball and I go get it.
Come visit me and let's play together... we may find out we want "some-mores" !
If you are interested in meeting Jackson or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).